Blast from the Past (2): Layout and Property

Hello Everyone, I am glad that the first Blast from the Past post was a hit. As promised, here is part 2. Thanks again to Ian Lawford for sending me the footage!

For a brief, immersive experience of the property and being at the course (but without teaching content), watch the first 9 minutes. The first 3 minutes show the property, including the eagles, a great blue heron, and the cove. If you keep watching til just shy of the 9 min mark, you will get a feel of what it was like to be at the course during a break, with participants working on projects, goofing off, looking at teaching models Chris had created, etc.

At about 9 minutes, the teaching portion begins. Chris introduces Japanese terminology, explains the origin of some of the terms, and writes the kanji (characters) for them. Then he talks about layout and design considerations for traditional Japanese structures, especially related to roofs and rafters.

I miss this guy…and whoa, he knew a lot of things.

A couple of people who have seen this noticed a funny comment by a course participant (only his voice is heard) about the mating habits of eagles and asked me to provide a little more info. Turns out that they do not, in fact, mate while flying through the air, according to the National Eagle Center…if you are interested in learning more, visit the center’s website for more info. (That was not what I expected to get a question about, but nature IS infinitely interesting!)

I will also share that Ryden’s 4th birthday is tomorrow. It weighed heavily on me this weekend, because this was the date that Chris most wanted to be here for. When we got good news after a scan last October (that turned out not to be true), the first thing we said to each other as we gave each other a big hug was that Chris would be here for Ryden’s 4th birthday. Of course, that seemed much less likely soon after, when we got news of the first bone metastasis. But it was the date that Chris kept hoping to make until we realized the end was near.

Luckily, Chris did have enough time to pick out a 4th birthday present a few months early, a Lego airport firetruck set that Ryden had been wanting. It has been waiting for Ryden’s birthday since Chris was in hospice. Ryden got a chance to open it today, which was the official (tiny, COVID-friendly) family birthday gathering. Thought you’d like to see a few photos…

Ready to open the gift from Daddy
Good job, Chris!

I am getting the chance to finish this post because Ryden is playing with the firetruck right now…
Then it was time for cake. Ryden had requested an ice cream cake with a layer of regular chocolate cake and homemade popsicles stuck in the top. I gladly obliged and here it is!

The pentagonal arrangement of the popsicles was in Chris’s honor, something that only I would notice but felt good anyway. It was a cake that Chris would have heartily approved of, being a huge fan of popsicles, ice cream, and high quality chocolate. And it was cut with a Japanese knife.

That’s all for now. If this was another tear-inducing post, I hope you don’t mind.

If I do find any other old videos of Chris that I think will be of interest, I will share them. If you have any, please let me know!

Thank you for stopping by The Carpentry Way. Love to all.
~ Ilana

11 Replies to “Blast from the Past (2): Layout and Property”

  1. Dear Ilana,

    Thank you for sharing this video with us all.

    Watching this video was an absolute pleasure and what a beautiful setting to have held the course in.

    Chris’s deep understanding the subject matter is self-evident and his warmth as a person is obvious as well. I think that he must have been a very remarkable person.

    May I take this opportunity to wish Ryden a very happy birthday and it is so nice to see such joy on his face. I think that you must be doing an amazing job.

    Take care and all the very best.


    1. Herbert, thank you very much. I’m so glad you also. enjoyed this video. Thank you for the birthday wishes for Ryden and the support! ~Ilana

    1. Thank you so much, Charlie. I appreciate the birthday wishes and support and will keep the blog going! ~ Ilana

  2. Happy birthday to Ryden. He is lucky to have a strong mom who I think will help him get through this.

    My cousin lost her husband suddenly years ago with 2 small boys. While it was extremely difficult, the boys have both grown to be fine men. I am hoping the same for Ryden.

    Legos are a great start on that path.


  3. Steve, thank you for your kind words and I appreciate hearing about other young children who lost a parent and have grown up to be happy, healthy, and kind. That is my deepest desire for Ryden, and I know it was Chris’s as well. And man, he is a wiz at the lego builds! ~ Ilana

  4. Thank you for these posts, Ilana, and for sharing your family here. We have twin 7yo boys (on June 25) who love playing with Legos, their most prized possessions. Our basement is full of models. I’m touched by your continued generosity with sharing your life and Chris’s interests with us. It certainly seems to be therapeutic for you, and for those of us who tread a rather lonely path in pursuit of precision. Much cheer to Ryden and your family. Summer birthdays are the best.

    1. Thank you very much for your comment and happy birthday to your boys as well! I love Ryden’s summertime birthday. I’m glad that what I have been able to find is of interest to readers. And it’s great to stay connected. ~Ilana

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